How to find some peace and quiet at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Walt Disney World is a dream vacation for fans and families alike. The magical experience of seeing your child’s eyes light up when they see Cinderella’s Castle is the stuff dreams are made of. But when your child needs a break from the excitement—and they will—where can you go for a quick nap in between rides? There are countless lists about things to do at Disney, including Fodor’s own Ultimate guide, but not so many tips about where to take a break when it’s meltdown time. Here’s an insider guide on where to go for quiet time with your toddler.
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Carousel of Progress
WHERE: Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney was a man with a dream—and the Carousel of Progress was his vision of the future. Tucked away in a corner of Tomorrowland, the show is in a rotating theater and features an animatronic (if somewhat creepy) family progressing through four generations. It’s one of the park’s older attractions and is usually pretty deserted. The Carousel of Progress is complete with air-conditioning and low lights and it runs continuously all day, making it the perfect spot for a quick nap.
The Hall of Presidents
WHERE: Magic Kingdom
Located in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom, The Hall of Presidents is a Disney nap destination (politics aside). It’s a 25-minute show about the formation of the U.S. Constitution and the presidents from past to present that runs all day long. If that sounds boring, you’d be right. But it makes for a great place to grab a quick snooze, with its dark setting and air conditioning. The crowd (if there is one) is usually older folks, so it doesn’t tend to be rowdy.
INSIDER TIPThe Hall of Presidents’ entrance is also an ideal place to catch your breath. It’s a great refuge from the Florida sunshine and big enough that you won’t be jostled by a crowd.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
WHERE: Magic Kingdom
All aboard! The PeopleMover made its debut in 1967 and was a futuristic mode of transportation at the time—an elevated outdoor tram that loops around Tomorrowland. It’s a leisurely-narrated tour with behind-the-scenes views of Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and it’s also covered, so it’s a good way to get some shade. The whole ride is ten minutes long, and your child can sit on your lap if you’d like.
INSIDER TIPThe PeopleMover is one of the park’s vintage attractions, and it’s slow and fairly quiet. You may be able to stay aboard for a second loop on this ride if you ask the Cast Member nicely.
Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
WHERE: France Showcase, Epcot
Why not take a break in style? Les Halles is a charming little French bakery that offers something for the grown-up sweet tooth: macarons, eclairs, petite fruit tarts, a cappuccino, and, yes, even wine! Near the back of the France Showcase, it’s a welcome break from the bustle and since it’s a counter-service bakery, there’s no need to plan ahead. Have a seat at one of the tables and your toddler can take a quick nap while you have a glass of champagne.
WHERE: Japan Showcase, Epcot
Tucked away in the back of the Japan Showcase is a hidden gem: the Bijutsu-kan Gallery dedicated to Japanese artwork and cultural artifacts. It’s indoors (which means, you guessed it, air conditioning) and has plenty of bench seats to post up on while you look at the exhibit. As long as a big group of tourists doesn’t come in, you should be able to get in a quick nap.
INSIDER TIPThe current exhibition, “Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture,” is all about small adorable things so you might hear some squeals of delight from visiting Hello Kitty superfans.
WHERE: Walt Disney World Resort
The Monorail connects all of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels and theme parks in an above-ground transit system that spans 13 miles of track. The Monorail system runs continuously from 30 minutes before the park opens until one hour after the latest park closing. You can hop aboard and take a seat—the Monorail moves quickly, and the motion helps soothe little ones to sleep.
INSIDER TIPThis could take a significant amount of your day, so, as Mufasa’s brother Scar would say, “Be prepared.”
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
WHERE: Animal Kingdom
The lobby at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is dimly lit and full of cushy couches with pillows. You can enjoy glimpses of the wildlife in the savannah through the rear window and the quiet ambiance while your child takes a quick nap. Anyone at Disney World can relax in the hotel lobbies and restaurants—you don’t need to be a guest!
WHERE: Rafiki’s Planet Watch Land, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The Conservation Station is a behind-the-scenes look at how veterinarians take care of the park’s animals, with a rehabilitation center for injured animals and a nursery for newborns. This attraction is out of the way so it’s not often as crowded as the rest of Animal Kingdom, and it has indoor spaces and seating that are a great place for a tired toddler to take a quick nap while you cool off.
INSIDER TIPThe only way to get to the Conservation Station is via the Wildlife Express Train from Harambe, Africa. Your little one might actually doze off on the way to the attraction and wake up in time to explore.
Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
WHERE: Animation Courtyard, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
A look at the life of Walt Disney, this attraction is one of the few quieter places inside Hollywood Studios. It’s a museum that’s nowhere near as intense as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It’s indoors and features a lot of historical memorabilia, and the theater at the end screens a 15-minute film about Walt. It’s dark and cool, and if your kids doze off at home on movie night, they’ll sleep through this too. Keep in mind that the theater also screens previews for upcoming movies, so it can be loud depending on what’s showing.
Near the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
WHERE: Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom
Just outside the Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square, there are little niches where you can relax and take a break from the magic. A grouping of tables is right outside the back door to the Shoppe, and it’s shaded by a tree and somewhat out of sight from the crowds walking by. Liberty Square is busy but not necessarily noisy; you can have a cup of coffee or one of the park’s famous turkey legs while you regroup!